2nd Beta!

232 14DPO, progesterone still looks great! 1st ultrasound at 7weeks on March 22...HOORAY!


Had to share my favorite pic!

Makes me SMILE!

Beta #1

My first Beta came back at a 60 (11dpo) and progesterone of 28...Nurse/Dr are very pleased. I will have a 2nd draw Monday as well as weekly progesterone checks. Oddly my internet cheapie tests have STILL not arrived so I will have about 100 hpt's *hopefully* that I wasted money on. Best $20 O ever wasted lol, and I don't even mind that I had to go buy hpt's at the drug store. Please God please let this be IT!!


Uterly Shocked

Yesterday someone very dear to my heart gave birth to her beautiful miracle baby. Today I saw such a perfect picture that touched my heart on such a deep level. In that instant all of my doubts about whether I can keep at this were gone. In that moment I knew that no matter what it takes or how long it takes I will have that pure love that you have for your child, the absolute awe at the perfection of such a tiny (and yet HUGE) miracle. As I send love to this new little family, I felt in my heart a re-birth of the strength I once had for this journey. Infertility is not for the faint of heart, it is the longest hardest journey I have ever been on. A journey when you can't see where the end is, when you never know if there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. I wait for my prayers to be answered and, yet I don't know if the answers will be the ones that I hope for.


After writing the above this afternoon, I came home...caved and POAS. Amazingly my prayers have been answered and now I move on to praying that the 3rd time is the charm and that this little bug sticks with us. I have never been more in shock. While I may be new to blogland, I am not new to ttc or IF. This is an amazing blessing because without BFP I can never even have a shot at a rainbow baby. If you are the praying kind please send prayers my way and if not, positive energy.


2ww, 8dpo

On the short side of my 2ww, so ready for it to be over and moving on the the next cycle. I don't have good feelings at all about this cycle and I am ready to move on to a more positive cycle. I started prednisone Friday as my clotting panel came back all normal (YAY!). They said I could wait until next cycle to start, but I uh requested (demanded vehemently) that in the event that maybe sperm and egg decided to get down and party together that I wanted to be on the safe side. I won't be poas until next Monday to verify that I can stop prometrium. I have been trying to keep myself occupied during the last week which has been so much easier while working 50 hours a week. I have also been working on something for an upcoming baby shower (that's all I can say ;) gotta keep it a secret cuz mama's my bf *waves* (you know who you are). I'm hoping that it comes out the way I am envisioning...if it does I will post pics after it's been gifted. My hubs is out of town and my puppy sits in the window and pines for him; it's the saddest, cutest, funniest thing ever.

I finally got around to listening to the webinar replay from the natural fertility challenge. It was supposed to be a "wrap up" but what it was mostly an advertisement for her *very expensive* natural fertility program that is A. REALLY expensive (4G) and B. You have to apply and be accepted for because "she wants to be sure that she can help you get pregnant before taking your money. Really to me it seems like she wants to be sure to keep her success rates high so she won't accept anyone she thinks won't be able to make it happen. The WORST part was that in all of that she mentions that she's only doing it once this year because she'll be taking MATERNITY LEAVE!! Really you advertise to infertile couples by "taunting them" with your pregnancy. Frankly, I wish I hadn't listened to this...it completely changed my opinion about her. I still feel like there was a lot of wonderful information in the fertility challenge but the webinar just really turned me off...but...maybe it was just me.


Fertility Challenge Wrap UP

Day 11: Is this fertility killer lurking in your bedroom? Why yes, it is. It is radiation...which comes from anything that plugs in. Frankly I don't know how I feel about this. It really doesn't seem feasible to me to nix everything that plugs in from my bedroom.

Day 12: Pest Control. Don't use poisonous chemicals to kill critters. While we don't really have much of a pest problem we employ the squish or puppy snack method. Totally non-toxic~

Day 13: The "Elixir of Life": any guesses as to what this is?! But not just any water, filtered water. Specifically you want a carbon filter that filters out far better than what we but at most stores and needs to be purchased from a specialty shop. Hm, I don't even know how to go about finding one of these. I do use a "standard" filter but apparently this isn't getting water clean enough. Must research!

Day 14 was just a recap of everything else...lame. So I will use this space to update you on the things that I have started doing differently since the beginning of this challenge. On day 1 of this challenge I started looking in to other "personal care" alternatives. Attempting not to put anything on my body that I wouldn't want IN my body. Our skin is our largest organ and everything we put on it goes IN. I have been "poo" (shampoo) free for 14 days. I have instead been using baking soda and water to clean my hair. My scalp is feeling better and now that my hair is adjusting it is looking much better. I had been using apple cider vinegar (diluted) to condition but it made my hair greasy. I am now using a mixture of strongly brewed tea infused with chamomile and rosemary, lemon juice, and honey. This has been working SO much better. Today is also day 14 of using honey as a facial cleanse and astoundingly I think it has made my skin look better and cleared up acne better than the expensive cleansers I've tried. I have been using coconut oil as moisturizer and have discovered that the puppy is completely obsessed with coconut oil and goes batshit crazy when she smells it.


I got VD

Valentines Day always reminds me of the year that The Captain bought me giant microbes for Valentines Day. He thought he was a riot for giving me "VD" as gave gave me chlamydia and mono. Very funny and very us. We love to do silly crap. So on this day O' love I always like to remind people always embrace their own special brand of love. We have never been much into celebrating Valentine's Day but it is nice with so much bad in the world to have a day where people (largely) are sharing love.

In other news I had the labs re-drawn today (again!) for my thrombophilia panel that the lab can't manage to run properly so I am *hoping* to get the results by the end of the week. I will soon post the final installment of the natural fertility challenge as I had most of a post typed and somehow deleted it. OOPS! Hope you all have/had a LOVELY ;) day!


Fertility Challenge D8-10

Day 8: “Why do I have to change my lifestyle when my cousin, sister, friends, or whoever drinks smokes, does drugs, etc. and they can get pregnant without even trying?”
 My opinion is that you just do. When you are trying to accomplish something and what you are doing isn't working, you have to change it. So the only thing left for me to change is lifestyle. Some people are more sensitive to things than others and what works for one doesn't always work for all.Some people have more general inflammation than others and some people are more fertile. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do kids.

Day 9: Harvard Medical School reveals the #1 fertility killer. This 1 thing can decrease your fertility about 78% according to their studies. In fact studies all around tell us that it shortens your life and expands your waist line. It's a killer plain and simple; we all know it but often still ingest it. TRANS FAT! This is no surprise and while I do my best to avoid trans fat it is really easy to get into the habit of grabbing something quick to munch at the drive thru. So, I am going to focus on not eating anything I order from a microphone box (no cheating by going inside!). If I need something fast I will find other alternatives. 

Day 10: These 3 foods are NOT part of your peak fertility diet; soy, gluten, dairy. I already don't eat soy. That stuff is thyroid poison and all but the fermented type is nasty bad for you anyway (in my opinion). Oddly, even feeling this way about soy once of the things I tried in desperation was large doses as a form of "natural clomid" (actually did this on my 1st BFP cycle). As for the gluten and dairy, here's the scoop. "Gluten which can decrease a woman’s ovulation potential and possibly trigger the immune system (which increases the chance of miscarriage).  Gluten is found in most grains so you need to let go of bread and pasta for now."...."dairy which can be mucus-forming.  A problem occurs when dairy causes mucus to develop where it shouldn’t be.  For instance, it can help create mucus in the fallopian tubes and cause blockages". Here are my thoughts. Dairy I don't believe affects me this way. I have had 2 pregnancies so I know my tubes are clear of excess mucus and additionally the idea that dairy produces excess music is not well documented. So for now I keep my dairy. Gluten...oh delicious gluten. Now I am know to have elevated levels of inflammation (can often be caused by gluten sensitivity) and an autoimmune condition so for me and the research I have done it makes sense to do away with gluten. Now if you peeps know me irl you may know that The Captain has tested out going gluten free several times and we are rather familiar with it...and how hard it is. But for me right now it seems like it is worth giving gluten free a test run. So sadly I bid adieu to gluten for the time being. I think I will have them check my inflammation markers in a few months to see if there is any change.


Fertility Challenge D7 & tidbits

Day7: How to move your body to "fall" pregnant. First, fall pregnant has always been a strange phrase to me. Second, I need to be moving my body. We all know that it is imperative for health and therefore fertility to move our bums (especially when trying to fight the chub!). But it is so much easier said than done. She recommends 40 mins daily of moderate exercise. For me a few months ago I started exercising really vigorously for a few weeks and didn't ovulate during that time...so I quit. LAME! But I KNOW that I need to be getting in some activity and will start. I wish I had taken advantage of the 7 months that I was minimally employed. Now I have a full-time job in addition to my part time and will be working 10 hour days 5 days a week. Fitting in exercise will be hard...I can't get up earlier than 5 (which I will be for work) so I must do after work. I am going to start with 3 days a week...2 of them being the weekend and work up from there.

The Captain is really struggling the last few months with feeling inadequate. I hate that he feels this way, and don't know how I can help him not feel like it is "his fault". Really it is just as much "my fault"; but really it is no one's fault, it just IS.

I am really worried about how the puppy will do when I am not home with her nearly all the time. The old man has also gotten very used to my being home and I am very heartbroken to have to leave my doggies home and go off to work.

I wonder if I will O this cycle, I know often times with a cyst people don't. (I hate Mr. Hyde!!)

My brother and sis in law are already talking about having another baby. My niece is only 7 months old! My SIL recently deployed and will return in about 6 months. I am sure that she will be knocked up as soon as she comes back. I adore my niece and my SIL wants nothing to do with her, which is heartbreaking. I don't get why she wants another baby and I am just sure she'll probably get pregnant before me...again.


Fertility Challenge D4-6

Day 4: How fluoride is killing your fertility. This was new to me and this is what I found the most interesting "Did you know up until the 1970’s European doctors used fluoride to reduce the activity of over-active thyroid patients with doses as low as 2mg/day". Now as someone with not only hypothyroid (controlled) but also a body that thinks my thyroid is evil and should die this is somewhat alarming. As I am not one to blindly accept things this is something that I will be doing a TON of research on as time permits. While in theory I am amicable to using a fluoride free toothpaste, I am not willing to drink only bottled water without fluoride added and I am not yet sure I am willing to forgo the bi-annual fluoride treatments from my dentist. As for The Captain, there is ZERO chance that I would even ask him to give up fluoride. He has severely bad teeth and as we all know dental problems that start small and turn big very quickly, and a very closely ties with heart health. Regardless of toothpaste use the things we can both do include drinking filtered water (which we do) and using other oral hygiene products (ie:mouthwash) sans fluoride. Again this is something I plan to research more and will keep you posted if I change my mind about this.

Day 5: The 4 fertility tests you probably don't know about. These were not a surprise to me and being that we had the FULL battery of IF testing done I figured we were pretty good on this front. To give you the rundown they: Thyroid function and thyroid antibodies, FSH, high vaginal swab and semen analysis. The only test that I have not had performed is the high vaginal swab. This is because our Dr believes that it is a waste of time and money and prefers to just treat prophylactically with antibiotics in the event that there is an infection underlying in either partner; including something that would be undetected by a vaginal swab.

Day 6: A simple test to do at home for your "thyroid". Now really this will not tell you if your thyroid is out of whack but it WILL tell you if you need more iodine in your diet. You use iodine to put a spot on your arm and wait to see how long it takes to fade. Don't wash it off or shower while waiting. I know that this test will likely show that I need more iodine, I have the "spot" on right now and will report back the results. If it takes less than 24 hours your need more iodine, more than or equal to your levels are good.


Fertility Challenge D2-3

Day 2 was yesterday and as expected the Challenge involved self care products. Basically chuck everything toxic. I would say right now about 50% of what I use is non-toxic and all natural. Up until about 3 or 4 months ago that was probably about 98%. This has really changed because of 2 things: Finances and effectiveness. I DO believe that parabens, phalates etc are toxic to your health and are known carcinogens. A lot of the things that I changed about 2 years ago were very focused on staying away from carcinogens (ya know that whole I don't my cancer to pop back up thing). Unfortunately the non-toxic products that are available either don't work or are far too expensive. I do really try to minimize the toxins in my products but haven't yet found a way to be perfect with it. I already have switched to a good healthy make-up line and many of my products are non-toxic as well. So, for this challenge I will focus again on things I might be able to make myself that will be effective, inexpensive and non-toxic. I have an interest in skin care and such so this will be fun for me.

Day 3...What is the question you are asking yourself that could be hurting your fertility and what 3 questions should you be asking that may help your fertility. These boil down to why, what, who and how. We should NOT be asking ourselves why, we SHOULD be asking ourselves what, who, how. These seem rather self evident but it's always good to have a reminder. It is not going to do any good to ask (or whine) about the why. Why me, why do I have to do this, why is this so hard etc etc. It just is my reality and for the most part I have accepted that. I do sometimes wonder why I am not pregnant and the teen crack whore is but frankly it doesn't matter. There are not a certain number of pregnancies allowed in the world at 1 time...so someone else being pregnant does not affect my chances of pregnancy. Instead we "should" try and focus on what, who, how. What can we do to change where we are, how can we help ourselves be closer to our goals, who can help us get there. Lately I am trying to be more in the mindset of let's fix what we can then having the pity mobile pop by. This is of course a process and today's challenge has reminded me of it's importance. So here are the things that I am doing to try and focus on the what, how, who.

1. Daily fertility meditations
2. Eating a healthy diet/moderate exercise
3. Taking all the "pills" my RE recommends
4. Have finally secured full time employment to help save and pay for treatments
5. Seeing a top notch RE
6. Try to focus on other ways to make myself happy that I CAN control
7. I'm sure there are more BUT this is a good list for now.


Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde

First  we'll talk about Dr. Jekyll...aka my left ovary. He's very well mannered, never causes problems and produces eggs every month (like a good ovary is supposed to). Once he made 4 beauties with the help of a little clomid. Then we have Mr. Hyde...my right ovary. He is ill tempered, never produces follies (even when asked) and most recently he has decided to EFF with my plans by bringing me a beautiful 20mm cyst. He causes nothing but trouble and I'm sure the good Dr tries to control him but to no avail. So, thanks to this guy our plan for this cycle has been quickly chucked out the window and we'll be doing things all naturally. Sadly, my dear husband no longer has the option of gifting me spunk in a cup for Valentine's day...I suppose he still could but now it would just be weird! So, I'll start OPK on the 10th knowing I will likely ovulate slightly later than my natural cycle norm due to residual clomid. Now let's all cheer on the good Dr and pray he grows me the perfect egg this month.


CD1, Fertility Challenge day 1

So we have finally moved on to another cycle, I so hate when you know it's coming and are left waiting. Also today is day 1 of the natural fertility challenge. So, you might be asking yourself what is on the docket for the next (approx ) 28 days. Tomorrow I get to go in and peek at my ovaries (cue emo breakdown), The Captain and I both start Z-pak (part of the RPL protocol we're on), Clomid 50mg CD 5-9, CD12 finds me yet again romancing the vag cam, and if previous cycles are to be believed I may spend Valentines day being injected with tiny swimmers. What a gift! Please honey all I want for V day is for you to deposit your spunk in this cup (cue sitcom laugh track). Also, we are waiting for the results of my thrombophilia (clotting) panel to determine if I will be on prednisone. Frankly, I hope in a week or so to be starting prednisone because it means I have no clotting disorder and will not need daily lovenox injections when I finally manage to become pregnant again. Dieting while on prednisone...yeah sounds super....but I don't really mind because it means we may actually be able to hold on to our next pregnancy!

Day 1 of the natural fertility challenge and our task is to clean out all the toxic household products and replace them with non-toxic natural products. About 2 years ago we switched to using all non-toxic cleaning products. I did still have a few things that I held on to for absolutely zero reason as I haven't touched them in 2 years. I was reminded today by the video that even just having those things in your home allows them to seep chemicals into the air that you breathe and slowly they poison you. I took the opportunity to clean out our "under sink area" and tossed everything that was just sitting in there and not being used. We now only have 1 toxic cleaning product, our stainless steel cleaner, because ALL of the natural options I have tried SUCK and we have all stainless in our kitchen. I did opt to store said cleaner in our garage which is detached and does not share air with our home. I am presuming that in the coming days the challenge will include doing the same with beauty products and switching to organics for edibles...both of which I have largely done but we'll discuss when those topics pop up.